I want to share the most effective way to achieve better Cardio Endurance to tackle the mountains. Cardio training should start at least 90 days before the hunt to ensure that you have enough time to get yourself prepared. The biggest benefit of doing interval training is that it’s a high-intensity workout so it requires less time to burn more fat and to make more overall progress.
Easy running/jogging is good as well on the days you don’t do interval training because rest is just as important as training is but easy running/cardio keeps your heart rate at the same level for the extent of the run. As we hike up steep mountains and ridges (at least for me!) my heart rate spikes and my breathing gets heavy as I progress through my hike. What better way to prepare for the mountains than to create our own intervals as a way of practicing for our hunts?
*Warming up for 5-10 minutes, and 5-10 minutes of stretching prior to intervals is strongly advised*
Day 1-15: 30 seconds ON/2 minutes OFF/Repeat 10X (5 minutes of high-intensity)
Day 15-30: 1 minute ON/2 minutes OFF/Repeat 7-10X (7-10 minutes of high-intensity)
Day 30-45: 1 minute ON/1 minute OFF/ Repeat 10-15X (10-15 minutes of high-intensity)
Day 45-60: (Incorporate Hills) 2 minutes ON/1 minute OFF/Repeat 10-15X (20-30 minutes of high-intensity)
Day 60-75: (Incorporate Hills) 3 minutes ON/90 seconds OFF, 2 minutes ON/1 minute OFF, 1 minute ON/30 seconds OFF/Repeat 4X (24 minutes high-intensity) (Rest 3 minutes in between each set)
Day 75-90: (Incorporate Hills) 3 minutes ON/90 seconds OFF, 2 minutes ON/1 minute OFF, 1 minute ON/30 seconds OFF/Repeat 4X with 6X OF 30 seconds ON/30 seconds OFF on the last set. (30 minutes of high-intensity training) (Rest 3 minutes in between each set)
A couple of things to remember when interval training: Intervals are high-intensity and should consist of 80% effort during the “ON” times. Keeping in mind that we have high-intensity days that will also mean we have low-intensity days where we take a day off, or go for a light jog. Interval training should not exceed 3 times per week. Also remember that intervals can be done anywhere, even in the gym on different types of cardio equipment. Intervals can be done around a track, on a bike, on an elliptical, treadmill, stair-stepper, etc. You don’t ever have to feel like you are limited by the equipment you do or do not have.
Lastly, it is hard for some people to look at a 90-day plan and not try to jump ahead on days that they feel good or strong, but keep in mind that it is a progressive plan to keep you injury free and help your body adjust to the changes it will surely be going through.